An aircraft's Aircraft Communications Addressing and Reporting System uses line of sight HF via ground stations or satellites to communicate with its base station.
This system allows for three types of messages to be sent:
- Air Traffic Control
- Aeronautical Operational Control
- Airline Administrative Control
Aeronautical operational control and airline administrative control messages are used to communicate between the aircraft and its base. Various types of messages are possible, for example, relating to fuel consumption, engine performance data, aircraft position, in addition to free text.
- Can ACARS be turned off? Would this generate a warning at the base station?
- Can ACARS send postion, altitude and heading information automatically?
- Can ACARS be repeatedly pinged to track an aircraft's position and heading? Would this require any intervention by the pilots? (posted separately)
- Is this system standard on commercial airliners?
- What data do Airlines collect from the ACARS, if any at all?